Wednesday, June 28, 2006

fyi Microsoft Repurposes WinFS for Future Products


Found content:

My take:

Is this Bill Gates’ legacy as outgoing chief software architect at Microsoft?

That they couldn’t manage, year after year, product release cycle after product release cycle, project codename after project codename, to ship a unified file system to give users easy access to structured and unstructured data, wherever it might reside, from within Windows? That they got as far as a beta of the unified file system under Vista and then withdrew the technology prior to general availability? That instead of a unified technology, WinFS has essentially been decomposed into a grab bag of features that may or may not find expression in future products that may or may not ever get delivered? That, by way of “explaining” this retreat, all Microsoft could muster was some lame marketing spin about aligning the technology, in some indefinite future incarnation, with some mysterious “data platform vision"? That the company has offered no new timeline for future availability of what once was known as WinFS? That even if they had offered a timeline, nobody would believe it?

What kind of architect walks away from a project in such disarray? As Mr. Gates retires to his foundation work, is he paying close enough attention to the ongoing health of the place that generated his wealth?